Meet Fashion Blogger Talisa Sutton

Talisa Sutton

Photography by Seven Babakhani
Styling by Talisa Sutton

Classic. Minimal. Practical. These are the words Talisa Sutton uses when asked to describe her personal style in five words or less. Notice she opted for less? It’s an apt self assessment, given her wardrobe full of classic blacks, greys and crisp whites, punctuated by sporadic well-placed bursts of red, polished and put together but never without some subtle form of ornamentation. She maintains a level of consistency that you’d expect of a full-time fashion blogger. Funny, then, that it was never her plan.

Blogging was a real happy accident for me! I didn’t take to fine arts or fashion design in school, so I wasn’t sure where I fit in within the industry.

As a teenager, she spent her downtime making zines for fun and filling notebook after notebook with cut-and-paste magic, tearing pages from glossy magazines and reassembling them into her own stories. After finishing high school, she enrolled in TAFE to study graphic design and started a blog on the side. Badlands was her “creative outlet and living portfolio” – essentially a digital version of those hard-copy notebooks, with a free Blogspot subdomain and nary an outfit post in sight.

Talisa Sutton blogger

The Daily Edited iPhone case. Aje dress. Viktoria & Woods shirt. Christian Louboutin flat. 3.1 Phillip Lim red bag. Christian Dior black bag and scarf.

Within a few months, magazines were getting in touch and running features on her. Five years later in 2015, she took the leap and quit her day job in graphic design to go freelance for good. Blogging had gone from a creative outlet to legit side hustle to full-time job. She credits a mention on major US fashion website Who What Wear in December of 2015 for an international growth spurt that allowed her to continue expanding the blog and her social media presence as well as open a design studio with her business partner and husband Rohan Peterson.

And, in November of last year, she relaunched Badlands into a fully-fledged interactive online publication, Badlands Journal.

Talisa Sutton fashion blogger

Amber Sceats earrings.

“It’s a move in a new direction,” she says of the revamped site, which she also runs with Rohan. “With both of us coming from design and editorial backgrounds, it felt like a nice fusion of our skills and interests, and it opens up so many opportunities for us to collaborate with other creatives.” She says she doesn’t think of herself as an influencer, per se. “I feel I’m a creative personality sharing what I love doing, and it just so happens to be in the public sphere. That being said, I think it’s important to own what you do.”

I never had any issues being referred to as a blogger, and I’m definitely a person on Instagram, but I see my role covering a more diverse spectrum of creative work now.

She proves we are long past the heady days of the industry, where fashion week turf wars fought between bloggers and journalists were commonplace. Even as influencer marketing finally hit the mainstream in 2016, many of the old guard were still struggling to adjust. In September of that year published a Milan Fashion Week recap wherein four staffers bemoaned the “pathetic”, “embarrassing”, “desperate” fashion bloggers with whom they’d shared the front row. After savage backlash from readers and bloggers alike, it was clear that attitudes had shifted. But what makes Talisa stand out, in addition to being genuinely passionate about what she does, is her humility.

“It’s always so humbling and flattering when people love and support your work; I feel like we’re all influencing and inspiring each other,” she says. Good to know that, these days, in fashion, nice guys can finish first.

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